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Team USA defeats Italy in first pre-Olympic exhibition

John Cotton
John Cotton
Photo: Larry Goren

Gold Coast, Queensland, AUSTRALIA--DH John Cotton (Rockies) went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs leading Team USA to an impressive 11-2 victory over Italy in the squad's exhibition opener.

Center fielder Anthony Sanders (Mariners) led Team USA's 15-hit attack with three hits, right fielder Brad Wilkerson (Expos) had two doubles and two RBIs, and left fielder Ernie Young (Cardinals) added a double and single. Shawn Gilbert (Dodgers) and Sean Burroughs (Padres) each added pinch-hit solo home runs.

Lefthander Rick Krivda (Orioles) pitched four innings, giving up two runs on four hits for the victory. Righthander Ryan Franklin (Mariners) followed with three scoreless innings and lefthander Bobby Seay (Devil Rays) and righthander Todd Williams (Mariners) each pitched a hitless inning. The four pitchers combined to hold the Italian team to just five hits.

"We swung the bats very well today, and showed that we could put some runs up on the scoreboard," Team USA manager Tommy Lasorda said. "I also liked the way our pitchers threw the ball. It was a small first step in the right direction for our ballclub."

Trailing 2-1, Team USA scored five runs in the third inning. Second baseman Brent Abernathy (Devil Rays) reached on an error and shortstop Travis Dawkins (Reds) followed with a single to left. Wilkerson scored both with a two-run double to right and then came home on a RBI single by Sanders. Cotton knocked in the final two runs of the inning with a RBI double to left to give Team USA a 6-2 lead.

Italian starter Jason Simontacchi allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits, suffering the loss. Roberto DeFranceschi had three of the five Italian hits in the game.

Team USA will next take Australia, Friday and Saturday evenings at the host team's Palm Meadows training facility.

Pre-Olympic Exhibition Game 1
Italy vs USA, September 7, 2000, at Gold Coast, Australia


Italy (0-1)       ab  r  h bi  USA (1-0)         ab  r  h bi
De Francesch cf    4  1  3  0  Dawkins ss         3  1  1  0
Liverziani rf      4  0  1  2  Everett ph-ss      2  0  0  0
Madonna c          3  0  0  0  Wilkerson rf       5  2  2  2
Baldacci ph        1  0  0  0  Sanders cf         5  2  3  1
Sheldon 3b         4  0  0  0  E. Young lf        3  2  2  0
Dipace lf          3  0  0  0  Neill ph-lf        2  0  1  1
Frignani ph        1  0  0  0  Cotton dh          3  1  2  4
Carrozza 1b        3  0  0  0  Burroughs ph       2  1  1  1
Casolari dh        3  0  0  0  Coolbaugh 3b       3  0  0  0
D'Auria 2b         2  0  0  0  Kinkade 3b         1  0  1  0
Dallospedale ph-2b 1  0  0  0  Mientkiewicz 1b    4  0  0  0
LaFera ss          1  1  1  0  Borders c          3  0  0  0
Evangelisti ph-ss  1  0  0  0  Jensen c           1  0  0  0
Simontacchi p      0  0  0  0  Abernathy 2b       2  1  1  0
Ginanneschi p      0  0  0  0  Gilbert ph-2b      2  1  1  1
Toriaco p          0  0  0  0  Krivda p           0  0  0  0
Cerbone p          0  0  0  0  Franklin p         0  0  0  0
                               Seay p             0  0  0  0
                               Williams p         0  0  0  0
Totals            31  2  5  2  Totals            41 11 15 10

Italy         101  000  000  -  2  5  4
USA           105  021  11x  - 11 15  0

E - De Francesch, Carrozza, LaFera, Simontacchi. LOB - Italy 
3, USA 6. 2B - De Francesch 2, Wilkerson 2 (2), Sanders (1),
E. Young (1), Cotton (1), Kinkade (1). HR - Cotton (1), 
Burroughs (1), Gilbert (1). SB - Sanders (1).

Italy                          IP  H  R ER BB SO
Simontacchi L 0-1             3.0  6  6  5  0  2
Ginanneschi                   3.0  5  3  3  0  3
Toriaco                       1.0  2  1  1  0  2
Cerbone                       1.0  2  1  1  0  0

USA                            IP  H  R ER BB SO
Krivda W 1-0                  4.0  4  2  2  0  3
Franklin                      3.0  1  0  0  1  2
Seay                          1.0  0  0  0  0  1
Williams                      1.0  0  0  0  0  0

WP - Simontacchi. Strikeouts - Liverziani, Dipace, Carrozza,
Casolari 2, D'Auria, Sanders 2, Coolbaugh 2, Borders, Jensen,
Gilbert. Walks - LaFera.
Start: 1:00 PM. Time: 2:22. Attendance: 250

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